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Male Babysitters Become Part Of A Growing Trend In Child Care

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For many teen girls, babysitting is a rite of passage. But now, boys have discovered that those child care gigs can bring in big bucks.

For high school student Sam Latzsch, babysitting isn't just fun and game—it's a paycheck.

"All my friends think it's kind of interesting because they're not very friendly with children. But they think it's cool that I am," he said.

According to the American Red Cross, Latzsch is part of a growing trend.

"Gender roles are becoming less defined. We've seen an increase in teen boys and young males register for our babysitting course," Grant Hansen with the American Red Cross said.

And as CBS 2's Mary Calvi reported, the numbers are expected to grow even more, so much so that the Red Cross is making changes to the curriculum to reflect the new demographic.

"We wanted to make sure they're well represented in the classroom courses, so many of our videos now feature young males going through their instruction," Hansen said.

Author Cary Siegel says young men are beginning to see the multiple benefits of babysitting, compared to more traditional jobs for a teenage boy.

"One of them is the fact that it pays pretty good. Two is it's a lot easier than the manual labor. Three, it's more flexible in terms of what they can do, in terms of the hours and how they do it. And you know what? Four, it's probably a little bit more enjoyable," Siegel said.

And sometimes, male sitters are preferred by parents. That's how Latzsch ended up watching Diana Cole's children, Ethan, Sasha and Briana.

"With Sam, I can relate a little bit more and the girls also like him because they can also relate to him," 10-year-old Ethan said.

"Ethan just needs sometimes a lot of one-on-one time, as well as it shows the girls that it's good you know, it's not just a female role, it's also a male role," Diana Cole said.

It's a role that Latzsch suggests other guys seriously consider.

"It's really rewarding," he said.

The pay doesn't hurt either, which averages from $10-$20 an hour depending on the number of children.

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